God’s Word Is A Viable Seed In Our Hearts
Readings: 1st: Is 55, 10-11; Ps: 64, 10-14; 2nd: Rom 8, 18-23; Gos: Mt 13, 1-25
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today, the fifteenth Sunday of ordinary time, we celebrate Christ who sows the seed of God’s word in our hearts. In light of Isaiah’s prophecy, and Christ’s parable of the sower, the Church enjoins us to evaluate our relationship with the Word of God. So, we must ask ourselves today, what has the word of God achieved or changed in my life?
In the first reading, Isaiah compares the Word of God to the rain and snow that falls on the ground: “As the rain and snow come down from the heavens and do not and do not return without watering the earth…so my words do not return to me empty, without fulfilling its mission…” This is because, the word of God is viable and active. It has the full potency to rejuvenate and nourish our life. As a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12), it also acquits and convicts one. So, either way, it accomplishes its mission because: “The word of God is, Yes and Amen” (2 Cor 1:20).
In the second reading, Paul makes a very important statement.: “…Creation is eagerly waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God…” This manifestation means, to reveal what is within us. Therefore, as vessels filled with the Word of God, we are expected to emit good fragrance when we are eventually manifested.
What is to be revealed, are the fruits of the Holy Spirit through the word of God, and the anointing we received in Christ. This means that as adopted children of God who bear his Word, there is a great expectation from us. Hence, the product of this expectation should be positive. It must be edifying, because the seed of the good news sown in us is viable.
In today’s gospel, Jesus employs the parable of the sower to speak personally to each of us. If we sincerely examine ourselves in the light of today’s parable, we will convincingly find our place within it. The spreading of the seeds everywhere without considering the nature of the soil, and where they fall is an indication of God’s willingness to give everyone the opportunity to hear his word. It shows the universality of Salvation, and a sign that God has no favorite. He wishes that all nations hear the good news, repent and live (Acts 10:34).
One point is clear from both the first reading and today’s gospel. This is the fact that the word of God is a viable seed. In other words, the problem is not with the seed. Rather, the problem is always with the receiver. That is, one’s attitude towards the word of God.
Unfortunately, for some of us, God’s word has lost its meaning and significance. It has become an old-fashioned story repeated for ages. Anyway, let us listen to it once more, and continue with our lives! For others, it is an obstacle on our way as Paul said: “…We proclaim Christ crucified (the Word of God Made flesh), a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor 1:23). Glory be to God, for many, it is still alive, and new every day.
The way we receive, value and treat the word of God determines who we are and what it achieves in, and for us. It is not meant to be received and quarantined. Rather, it is meant to be lived. It is not meant to be passive in us. Rather, it is meant to nourish and become one with us, just as food forms flesh and becomes one with our mortal bodies. It is supposed to shape our personality. That is, the way we live, speak, walk, and relate. So, as it was one with God who sent it (in the beginning, Jn 1:1-4), so, it is meant to become one with us today and always.
Finally, the word of God shapes our faith, and our faith depends on it. Hence, Paul reminds us that: “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” (Rom 10:10 -17).
May God help us to grow and mature in our faith, through His life-giving word we hear every day. Amen.
Peace be with you all!